Combining taxanes with radiation for solid tumors

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Abstract

In recent studies, the activity of taxanes (as single agents and in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents) plus radiation therapy has been evaluated in various tumor types. For locally advanced nonsmall-cell lung cancer, results available from phase I and II trials indicate that combined-modality therapy is generally well tolerated and achieves control of local and metastatic disease. Novel paclitaxel administration schedules, including weekly and twice-weekly infusions, are being evaluated in combination with standard and hyper-fractionated radiation therapy. Trials adding platinum compounds to paclitaxel-based regimens are also yielding encouraging results. Ongoing trials are evaluating docetaxel plus radiation therapy in patients with locally advanced unresectable nonsmall-cell lung cancer. Taxane-based chemotherapy plus radiation therapy is being explored for small-cell lung cancer, poor-prognosis squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, esophageal cancer, brain tumors, pancreatic and gastric cancers, and locally advanced breast cancer. Ongoing trials also are beginning to evaluate concurrent paclitaxel and radiotherapy for pelvic malignancies [126-129]. Molecular genetic alterations in tumor cells are the focus of a growing number of studies. Tumors with p53 gene mutations may respond in unique ways to radiation and chemotherapy, possibly requiring cytotoxic agents with novel mechanisms of action. An evaluation of the response of tumors with p16INK4a gene product mutations to paclitaxel and radiation therapy also is of interest. A better understanding of the role played by biomarkers should lead to more effective treatment and patient selection. Much of the current research should help define critical doses and administration schedules and should lead to better treatment and patient selection methods for many of these common solid tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-127
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume90
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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